Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Infant Deaths Spur Baby Sling Warning

Don't Put Infants Under 4 Months in Baby Slings, Consumer Product Safety Commission Warns
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

March 12, 2010 - After a spate of infant suffocation deaths, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents to think twice before putting infants under 4 months of age into baby slings.

The CPSC is conducting a full investigation of the once-again-trendy baby carriers. There's been no recall, but CPSC head Inez Tenenbaum said earlier this week that a warning was coming.

Now it's here. The warning comes on the heels of three infant deaths in 2009 and at least 14 deaths over the past two decades. Twelve of the infants were less than 4 months old.

Babies under 4 months of age have weak neck muscles and can't control their heads. If the sling fabric blocks the child's nose and mouth, it can suffocate the child in just one or two minutes.

Perhaps more horribly, if the sling holds the child in a curled position with its chin bent toward its chest, the child has difficulty breathing and suffocates slowly.

At highest risk are kids who have a breathing problem -- such as a cold -- or kids born with low birth weight.

While it has not banned the slings, it warns parents to use them correctly when toting infants over age 4 months.

Here's the CSPC's advice:

  • Place the child chin up with its face clearly visible and its nose and mouth free of the fabric.
  • Check on the child often.
  • If nursing a child in a sling, change the baby's position after feeding so its head is facing up and clear of both the sling and the mother's body.
  • Do not allow the sling to cover the baby's face.
  • Do not carry the child too low in the sling.
  • Do not carry the child hunched with its chin touching its chest.
  • Do not carry the baby with its face pressed tight against the wearer of the sling.

If you've had an incident or injury while using a baby sling, the CSPC wants to hear from you at 800-638-2772.

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow